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I am a parent, a rather recent one. While growing up with my child, I keep wondering how different is my parenthood as compared to my own childhood. Notwithstanding that relatively carefree life and warmth of the community, there were still a few virtues to those days that have made me who I am today.
What stands out however is the efforts my parents have put in instilling self confidence in me. The self confidence which is, to begin with mostly taken for granted, or not even realised as present or missing, becomes arguably the most salient asset to one's life and career alike.
Self confidence translates into self worth, self esteem, and the ability to face complex situations with ease. Remember, our kids will be facing a far different and complicated world than that our parents or even we are facing. Not only that our current ways of educating them or taking care of their requirements inadequate, but we are, frankly, clueless about how the future's going to unfold. So the best we can do is to make our children understand the complexity first-hand and deal with those with confidence.
Imagine if you were to send a manned mission to a distant galaxy. What skills would you teach the travellers? Survival skills, to begin with, and adaptability, to sustain in entirely unknown environments. The same applies to our kids who are being launched into an unpredictable future which is punctuated with Black Swans. Instead of training or educating them on what we deem as important, we would need to help them develop a sense of 'can do attitude' that would help them figure things on their own, and make the most of the situation.
Hence, my submission to all you parents is that self confidence, starting with your own, and that of your kids, is the most important and lasting gift you can ever bestow upon them.